The Lafayette City Council, after hearing a whole lot of outrage Monday from neighborhood residents who paid out of pocket for an upgrade to street repairs they say only made things worse, ordered the residents' money refunded. Checks started going out on Aug. 15, according to the Contra Costa Times.
The issue began earlier this month, when repairs to quiet, less-traveled neighborhood roads involved a technique called chip seal, which is rubber and asphalt with gravel. It's a rough ride for those used to the luxury of smooth asphalt.
The city offered to use a smoother, but still less expensive variation, called slurry seal, but said residents would have to pay half the additional cost. The city would up collecting more than $23,000 from residents.
But at the Monday council meeting, many of those residents said the extra cost was not worth it; the streets, many said, were worse off than before. So council members said they would refund the money.
Lafayette voters turned down several tax increase measures that would have funded road repairs throughout the city. City Manager Steve Falk said the chip seal option for less-traveled roads was the only alternative to keeping the roads operable for another five to ten years.